Payment by results

Payment by results is about paying for what works and getting better outcomes for the public money we spend.

New outcomes-based payment models replace bureaucratic targets with simple outcomes that reward the long term success that the public wants to see, while giving people on the front line more freedom to get the job done. 

Reduced crime and offending is one area where new 'payment by results' (PBR) models are being introduced, including:

  • eight payment by results pilots for Drug and Alcohol Recovery went live in April 2012
  • as part of the 'Rehabilitation Revolution' the Ministry of Justice is testing payment by results approaches for reducing reoffending through a pilot phase before applying PBR principles more broadly
  • the Work Programme is trialling new approaches for offenders leaving prison without a job
  • the new Troubled Families Programme makes additional money available to local authorities on a payment by results basis to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families, including reducing crime and antisocial behaviour

The Home Office has developed crime and offending outcomes for the Drug and Alcohol Recovery pilots and is working closely with other government departments on schemes that impact on crime prevention and reduction and on the safety of our communities.

Drug and Alcohol Recovery pilots

The drug strategy 2010: reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life committed to trialling payment by results for drug and alcohol recovery services.

Eight local areas have worked alongside government to co-design the three national-level outcomes that providers will be paid against. These are: freedom from drug(s) of dependence; reduced re-offending; and health and wellbeing. Full details are available at the Department for Health microsite.

The Home Office has led on the development of an offending measure for the pilots, as this links closely with our aim of improving crime reduction through the implementation of the drug strategy. The measure allows providers to be assessed according to the offending of all individuals on their treatment caseload. This outcome builds on the success of the Drugs Intervention Programme and Integrated Offender Management, by incentivising joint working between treatment providers and criminal justice agencies and encouraging a focus on prolific drug-misusing offenders who do the most harm in communities.

Central government is now working with commissioners and providers from other local areas who are interested in using similar approaches. To share lessons learned from establishing the pilots, we are holding two events: 

  • event for providers (21 May 2012) - this day long event will be a chance for providers to find out more about the models being implemented, hear from providers already delivering their services in this way, and discuss future opportunities
  • event for local commissioners and partners (18 June 2012) - this day long event is an opportunity for commissioners to find out more about the national outcomes chosen and how to make payment by results work for your areas in delivering a more recovery focused system

If you are a local commissioner or partner agency and are interested in learning more about PBR approaches for drug and alcohol recovery, please contact the Department for Health.

The eight pilots are Bracknell Forest, Enfield, West Kent, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Stockport, Wakefield and Wigan. Government departments involved include the Department for Health, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Work and Pensions and the National Treatment Agency.

We have published a set of lessons learnt from designing the outcomes for the drug and alcohol recovery pilots.

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Payment by Results Team
Reducing re-offending unit
Home Office
4th Floor Fry Building
2 Marsham Street

Email: Payment by results team